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Are Teachers Policy Analysts?


"And please welcome Megan Allen, a National Board Certified Teacher who is a blogger and a policy analyst."

What? A policy analyst?

I'm not a policy analyst, right? I just like to read and see what's happening, figure out what we already know and what we need to know, brainstorm solutions, making sure to think about classroom impact. *Insert imposter syndrome*

That introduction happened last month, and the questions still echo in my head. I'd never thought of myself as a policy analyst. Those are people that sit in offices and pour over the word of laws and policies, then inform policymakers from their cubicles, right? Not a geeky educator.

Fast forward to this morning. I'm sitting on plane and preparing for tonight's policy fluency class, reading from Nicola Alexander's book Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders. And I stumbled across this in the first few chapters. A definition of policy analysis.

It is bridging the divide between what currently is and what should be.

It is making choices to find the best solution to a problem where there is disagreement upon those involved.

Policy analysis is problem solving. Isn't that what teachers do all day long? I just realized that whether we know it or not, teachers are policy analysts in their very nature. We have the ability and skills that can easily transfer, if we so choose. If we have time and space (and that's a whole other issue). Imagine the possibilities.

And this educator is embracing it. I'm proud to be a budding policy wonk. Policy analyst in training. Who's with me? 

Megan M. Allen, NBCT, EdD, and policy analyst

Photo courtesy of John Taylor.

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